I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. Why make promises I know I’m not going to keep? That’s exactly what I need, another list of unfinished projects. However, there are things – OK many many things – I know I could and should do better. Like flossing. I really need to get on that one so this year I’m going to try. Start small and see how it goes. And eating breakfast. I rarely eat breakfast and yet I know, because my mother drilled it into my head, it’s the most important meal of the day. But the fact is, she’s not here making breakfast for me every day anymore and I am extremely low functioning upon waking. It’s a miracle I make it out the door dressed. Some things just have to give.
Yesterday, while watching three AWESOME bowl game (seriously – the Outback, Rose and Fiesta Bowls were some of the best football I’ve watched in years), I came across this great post on TheKitchn. The premise is not a new one – make something one night that you’ll eat for the entire week. It’s very practical. This one though, was about breakfast and steel cut oats in particular. Partially cook a large batch of steel-cut oats, portion into mason jars and leave out overnight to continue to cook. In the morning, store the jars in the fridge and grab one every day for an instant, healthy and tasty breakfast. Well, why didn’t I think of that?
I love steel-cut oats – their chewy texture and nutty flavor is outstanding and puts those crappy packets of instant garbage to shame. But the 7 minutes they take to cook are simply too taxing for me in the morning. Most of the time, I just cannot pull it together. The thought of having a jar, ready to go to eat at my leisure, is beyond appealing. Fast good food for breakfast. Yes indeed. Plus this will help combat a common problem of mine – ridiculous hunger later in the day that usually leads to poor choices.
I used steel-cut oats from a local farmer – Three Sisters Garden – because I love their nutty chewiness. I also layered in some tasty additions – a little brown sugar in the bottom of each, a few ladles of oatmeal, some delicious fruity/nutty bits, then a ladle or two of oatmeal to top off. To be honest, looking at the giant pot of oatmeal and my 5 pint jars I didn’t think there was any way it would all fit so I hastily rounded up some extra jars. I was wrong. The batch size fit those 5 pint jars perfectly.
So for some tasty mix-ins, I did the following, little bits of this and that I had lying around:
– jar 1: wild blackberry jam, pinch of allspice
– jar 2: dried cherries, chopped almonds, pinch of cinnamon
– jar 3: dried apricots, chopped pistachios, pinch of ginger
– jar 4: chocolate raspberry jam
– jar 5: dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice
I hear they get better as the week goes on, so we’ll see but so far so good. Jar 1 – the blackberry jam one – was delicious. I’m wondering how it will work for other breakfast grains – 7-grain cereals, grits, amaranth, wheat berries and the like. I’m liking this idea. A lot.
So Happy New Year everyone! Let’s start with a regular healthy breakfast and see how this goes.
STRESS BAKING THERAPY FACTOR: SERIOUSLY? COMPLETELY STRESS-FREE. This one is ridiculous heathy and makes me feel rather on top of things, like maybe I know what’s going on and am in control of my own universe. Well, that’s a first. Let’s face it, studies have shown a zillion times, how important a good, fiber rich breakfast is to start the day. It gives you energy, helps you think clearly and reduces hunger later in the day so that drive-thru doesn’t look nearly as attractive at 2pm. We know all this, yet we often ignore practical information. So this year, let’s do this thing.
STEEL-CUT OATS ON THE GO from TheKitchn
Makes 5 pint jars
1 2/3 cups steel-cut oats
4 cups water
Large pinch kosher salt
mix-ins: spices, dried fruit, jam, nuts, sweeteners
- Get your 5 pint jars ready to go – washed and clean, lids off.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the oats, water and salt to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
- Ladle the oats into the jars (they’ll be a little soupy, which is perfect), layering in any desired mix-ins.
- Let the jars sit at room temperature, overnight.
- In the morning, place the jars in the refrigerator.
- To reheat: remove the metal lid and microwave for 2-3 minutes on high.
- Jars keep for at least one week refrigerated.